Physical therapy (PT) is an excellent choice to treat acute pain, chronic or long-term pain, injury, tissue damage, or other painful conditions. It allows you to move and feel better while making you stronger.
With physical therapy, you will rely less on pain relievers, manage your pain, resume daily activities, and improve your quality of life.
Talk to your doctor about incorporating physical therapy to help manage your chronic pain. You can request physical therapy from your doctor for treatment of your chronic pain symptoms. Usually, there are several visits over time, and your physical therapist will prescribe exercises to do at home.
Physical therapists have the training and experience to work with many conditions safely.
Physical therapy for pain relief should not be a painful experience. Physical therapy aims to help alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall function. However, it’s important to note that some discomfort or mild soreness may be experienced during specific exercises or therapeutic activities.
During the initial assessment, your physical therapist will evaluate your condition, range of motion, and pain levels. This assessment may involve some discomfort as the therapist identifies areas of concern and determines the appropriate treatment plan.
Physical Therapists and Treating Pain
As experts in treating people with chronic pain, physical therapists do not just treat pain but also address the source of your pain. Your physical therapist will look for areas of weakness or stiffness surrounding the areas that hurt and could be adding to your stress and pain. Various exercises will be prescribed to help you move easier and ease your pain.
Physical therapists are crucial in the multidisciplinary approach to managing chronic pain. Chronic pain is persistent and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Physical therapists use various evidence-based techniques to address chronic pain, improve function, and enhance overall well-being.
Typical Physical Therapy Sessions may involve:
Low-impact aerobic exercise: These workouts will be easy on your joints while improving your heart rate. For example, warm-up can involve using a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill. Warming up is essential before beginning any strengthening or flexibility exercises.
Exercises for Strengthening: Physical therapists use resistance bands, machines, or your body weight, like squats, lunges, and pushups for strengthening. PT will address the affected parts of your body, including your stomach, back, and glutes, known as your core muscles.
Exercises to Relieve Pain: These exercises zoom in on your pain, working to make these areas more flexible, improve your range of motion, and make you more robust.
Stretching: After warming up, stretching exercises are meant to be gentle.
What else might be included?
Massage: Your physical therapist will apply their expertise to ensure your massage is effective and safe.
Self Care Retraining: From daily activities like doing dishes and folding laundry, to more complex activities like heavy lifting or overhead reaching, we will teach you how to use your muscle the right way to get the job done without pain. Our therapists will analyze how you can set up your office, or other workspaces to help you find the best posture and avoid straining your back and neck.
Manual Therapy: Your physical therapist may incorporate manual therapy techniques to address tight bands in your connective tissue, enhancing flexibility and alleviating discomfort. Through hands-on manipulation, this targeted approach aims to release tension, ultimately improving your range of motion and contributing to the overall effectiveness of your physical therapy sessions.
Trigger Point Release: Chronic pain often involves trigger points—localized knots within muscle tissue causing discomfort. Your therapist may use trigger point release techniques to identify and alleviate these painful nodules, employing targeted pressure and stretching to promote relaxation and reduce pain associated with trigger points.
Myofascial Release: In cases of chronic pain with intricate tension patterns, your therapist may use myofascial release to address fascial restrictions. This technique involves gentle, sustained pressure and stretching to release tightness in the fascia, contributing to a comprehensive approach to managing chronic pain and improving overall mobility.
Does it cause more pain?
Physical therapy is safe and usually does not hurt. However, it can be challenging to work the parts of your body that have sustained an injury or where you have chronic pain.
Your therapist has a specific plan in mind based on your needs. Sometimes, you must do some problematic moves or exercises to relieve pain to get stronger. You may be challenged, but only as necessary.
Communicating openly with your physical therapist about any pain or discomfort you experience during the sessions is essential. Your therapist can adjust the intensity or modify exercises based on your feedback to ensure effective treatment without causing unnecessary pain.
If you are experiencing significant pain during physical therapy, it’s essential to discuss this with your therapist. Pain that persists or worsens may be a sign that the treatment plan needs adjustment or an underlying issue that requires further evaluation.
Remember that physical therapy aims to improve your well-being, and the discomfort experienced during certain activities is typically a normal part of the rehabilitation process.
Always consult your healthcare provider or physical therapist to address any concerns or questions about your specific situation.
Physical Therapy for Your Condition
Each person’s experience of chronic pain is unique. Physical therapists create individualized treatment plans that consider the patient’s specific needs, goals, and preferences.
Physical Therapists can help improve or restore the mobility you need to move forward in your life. If you are looking for a possible alternative to surgery, shots, and/or medications, consider Synergy as your solution.